Chromebooks are the new "it just works" platform

Opinion: Chromebooks might not be a perfect platform for everyone, but they're a near-perfect solution for business and BYOD.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Acer Chromebook 14. Image: CNET

Whenever I point out -- just like I did here -- that Chromebooks are a great bit of kit with massive potential, there are people who are quick to point out their shortcomings compared to fully-featured laptops.

They're right. If you want a mobile device that can play games or run heavy-duty applications such as Photoshop, then yes, you need a laptop. Same goes for those who like to have a big, monolithic operating system that they can customize and tinker with. Those people need Windows or macOS or Linux.

Chromebooks are also a poor choice for people who love to brag about gigahertz and terabytes and how many cores their system has.

So yes, I absolutely agree with you. Chromebooks aren't for everyone.

But here are segments of the market where Chromebooks are perfect -- business and BYOD.

The biggest advantage that Chromebooks bring to the table is that they are a no-nonsense computing platform that allows people to focus on getting the job done without the distractions of updates and antivirus and bloatware and nags to download and install the latest and greatest operating system.

Chromebooks are so incredibly low maintenance that for someone coming from a big platform -- especially Windows -- it can feel rather disconcerting initially. The amount of time that a Chromebook user needs to spend on maintenance can be measured in seconds.

Seriously, seconds.

About 10 seconds a month.

There's also no malware to worry about. All Chromebook applications are safely sandboxed, all local data encrypted, and verified boot makes sure that nothing dodgy is loaded when the system boots up.

Lost and stolen systems -- something that admins worry about a lot -- are not a problem with Chromebooks. Data is backed up automatically in the background, and in the event that a Chromebook does go missing, not only can it be remotely locked and wiped, but all that's needed to get the person mourning the loss of their device back in the game is hand them a new Chromebook. Migrating all the data and settings to the new system is as simple as just logging into it.

Chromebooks remove almost all of the hassles that plague the Windows ecosystem, and bring benefits at a price point that Apple cannot match with its MacBooks.

Chromebooks are the new "it just works" platform.

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